Akihiro Kurata (倉田 明宏 Kurata Akihiro) is a character and a major villain (arguably the main villain) in the series Digimon Data Squad.
Ten years before the start of the series, Kurata was a member of the Digital World exploration party, whose task was to investigate the Digital World, as well as search for the lost son of Kevin and Michelle Crier (Kenji and Misuzu Noguchi), Keenan Crier (Ikuto Noguchi). In the Digital World, Kurata reacted with nothing but fear towards the strange monsters that appeared before them like Lynxmon and Ikkakumon, a fact that he was chastised for by another member of the expedition, Spencer Damon (Suguru Daimon), the father of the series' main character, Marcus Damon (Masaru Daimon). According to Sampson and confirmed by Kurata himself, he worked under Spencer as his assistant. When referring to this he often says it in a spiteful or contemptous tone.
Eventually, the group became terrorized by SaberLeomon, who chased them to an area of the Digital World that would become known as the Infinite Ice Ridge. There, the frightened Kurata used a sort of make-shift bomb to escape to open a portal to the real world, which he and the rest of the expedition used to escape to the human world while Spencer held SaberLeomon.
His experiences in the Digital World left a lasting effect on Kurata - his fear of them apparently led him to decide that Digimon were a menace and threat to humanity. So, while Spencer negotiated an alliance with the powerful Digimon, Merukimon, Kurata worked to invade the Digital World, resulting in the creation of his own Digimon: Gizumon, a Digimon without a soul created from Kurata's experiments on other Digimon.
Kurata led an attack force into the Digital World, and used his Gizumon to ravage the Digital World and exterminate as many Digimon as possible. With the Gizumon's ability to permanently delete a Digimon, these actions resulted in the very permanent death of many Digimon, including Keenan's guardian, Frigimon. Merukimon intervened, believing Spencer and the humans had betrayed him, forcing the fearful Kurata to again escape to the Real World.
Kurata did not factor into the events of the series again (at least, in a manner that was not unseen) until the Digimon Gotsumon led SaberLeomon's army of Boarmon and Pteramon into the real world. Kurata used a massive Digital Gate to return the Boarmon and Pteramon back to their world. After this, Kurata revealed himself to the members of DATS, attempting to pass himself off as an ally. When SaberLeomon himself came to the Human World, Kurata used one of his Gizumon to ensure the Digimon would be permanently deleted. Though others suspected him, only his former expedition member, Commander Sampson (Rentarou Satsuma), had a true inkling of what Kurata was planning.
After this, Kurata went with the members of DATS, who intended to permanently settle matters with Merukimon. However, once there, Merukimon revealed that Kurata had been responsible for the massacre in the Digital World years before - a fact revealed to the DATS team and Keenan (who had been raised by Merukimon and had befriended Marcus and the others). Kurata turned the tables on them, and used Gizumon AT (which later turned into Gizumon XT) to fatally wound Merukimon. The group fought back, but it was only when Merukimon used the last of his strength to damage Gizumon XT that they were able to turn the tide. Keenan managed to help his partner Falcomon Warp Digivolve into Crowmon, who obliterated Gizumon. Kurata escaped again.
In the Real World, Kurata tricked the Confidentiality Ministry, headed by Director Hashiba, that Marcus and the other members of DATS were traitors. Through this, he had most of the group's memories erased, and had Keenan, Sampson, and all other members of the DATS branch imprisoned. However, thanks to their partners, Marcus, Thomas H. Norstein (Tohma H. Norstein), and Yoshino Fujieda manage to recover their memories just as Kurata sent a Gizumon AT toward them. Undeterred from that defeat, Kurata blew up the DATS building, and with Gizumon XT, escaped to the Digital World, in order to put his plans for genocide into motion. He sent Kouki, Ivan, and Nanami (the same ones that defeated Crowmon) to deal with Marcus, Thomas, and Yoshino whom they ran afoul of. When it came to the Holy Capital invasion, Kurata gave his human henchmen an upgrade to their forms.
He planted Digital Gates that brought ElDradimon to the Real World. He had the Gizumon merge with a missile to destroy ElDradimon. Kurata got Thomas' father on his side promising that he will cure Thomas's sister; the cure involved performing surgery on Relena to fuse her with Digimon data, thus turning her into a Digimon-human hybrid. In addition, to ensure Thomas would not betray him he secretly had planted before a bomb device inside Relena's necklace. (Thomas had to pretend to be on Kurata's side until the bomb was deactivated when the necklace was removed for the surgery to proceed). He later revealed to Thomas the Digimon Belphemon in his Sleep Mode and how he found his Digi-Egg and was using the deleted Digimon data to revive him. He plans to use the Digimon Demon Lord not only to subjugate the other Digimon and the Digital World, but for his bid to rule the human world as well.
When Thomas broke the Digimon Control Device, he merged with Belphemon by transforming himself into DNA and transmitting into the beast. He later temporarily loses control of the Demon Lord, regaining control when his face appears on Belphemon's chest. When ShineGreymon became ShineGreymon Burst Mode, he and Marcus destroyed Belphemon with a unified attack, transforming Kurata back into flesh and blood. Before disappearing into a bright light from one of the breaks in the boundaries of the Digital World, he sets off a bomb that makes it bigger in a kamikaze-like effort, but dies realizing his mistake when the wormhole goes out of control saying it was not part of the plan.
Memories of every atrocity, misdeed and cold-hearted action committed by Kurata himself remain. Despite his downfall, he leaves behind a foul legacy of sorts that haunts everything for the remainder of the series. Because of his ruthless Digimon genocide, Spencer suffers, as well as sparking the conflict with the Royal Knights and Yggdrasil later on. Ultimately, his reckless handiwork left both the human and Digital World close on the verge of total destruction.
Kurata is unique in that he is the first genuinely evil human character in the Digimon series (as opposed to Yukio Oikawa and Ken Ichijouji in Digimon Adventure 02, who both were controlled/influenced by Myotismon, Ken having been infected by Milleniummon's Dark Spore, Hypnos member Mitsuo Yamaki from Digimon Tamers who eventually saw the error of his ways and was never as bloodthirsty, Koichi Kimura in Digimon Frontier, who was controlled by Cherubimon (who in turn was manipulated by Lucemon)). This is shown by the callous way he has reacted to the deaths of the Digimon he has exterminated, and the almost maniacal nature in which he reacts to the prospect of facing them. However, when he is unprotected by soldiers or his Gizumon creations, this all drops away, and he is seized by a gripping fear for his own life. It is through this that he justifies his actions - he is protecting humanity because all Digimon are, in his eyes, a threat. In a way, he parallels Hypnos member Mitsuo Yamaki from Digimon Tamers, in that they both believed Digimon were a constant threat to the peace - but they differ in that Yamaki eventually, as said before learned the error of his ways and was never as bloodthirsty as Kurata. To add to Kurata's fiendish personality, he has no problems killing humans, and isn't even bothered by the fact that many more larger digimon attacks happened because of him. He may also be based on the villain Analogman, a twisted genius hacker who sought to control both Digital and Real Worlds by enslaving Digimon.
When attempting to coerce people or hide his true intentions, Kurata appears almost affable or absentminded, and to some extent, overly friendly. However, when he introduced himself to the members of DATS, most seemed annoyed by him. Curiously enough, he seemed to act as though he had an allergy towards Digimon, prompting him to sneeze whenever Agumon and Gaomon (DS 22,35) drew near him. Whether this is an unexplored character point or whether he did it as a way of subtly indicating his disgust towards Digimon has yet to be determined. However is more likely the latter as when he merged with Belphemon he didn't start having a reactive fit.
Kurata has his own catchphrase, spoken in English: "Showtime Gentlemen!" In the Japanese, his catchphrase which is also spoken in English: "It's Showtime!"
Commander Sampson made a brief reference about Kurata on DS episode 19 before he made his first appearance two episodes later. In fact, when Commander Sampson discloses to the DATS team the full account about the true purpose of the exploration party into the Digital World and who were the original members on the aforementioned episode, Kurata can be seen in a short cameo appearance.